Every real estate professional has the same goal: to sell as many houses and earn as much money as possible. What differs among them is how they go about it, and their priorities regarding families and other interests.
In a recent National Association of REALTORS® webinar titled, “NAR NXT Up: The Blueprint to Design a Productive 2023,” moderator Shannon King, broker/owner of Island Living Homes in Oahu, Hawaii, led three panelists as they explored how they approach their careers personally and professionally, as well as what they’re doing differently this year to excel in both areas.
Panelists included Koki Adasi, executive vice president of Compass Real Estate in Washington, D.C.; Sarah Maiga, broker at Maiga Homes Luxury Real Estate in Canton, Michigan; and Kadee French, a REALTOR® with Kadee French Real Estate in Edmond, Oklahoma. Here are highlights from the event.
Shannon King: When it comes to goal setting and planning, how do you do it? And when do you do it?
Sarah Maiga: I work off of the 12-week year, which is a book that I learned about when I was with my previous broker. The concept is that you set goals in 12-week increments, so I sit down about two weeks prior to the end of each quarter and look back and see what I achieved and where we are missing the mark. What do we need to do to adjust to get back on schedule for the next quarter? I usually set three 12-week goals for the business and three personal goals. That way you’re not missing out on the home life stuff either. At the end, I transcribe all of that to the calendar. It takes me about six hours every quarter. It works really well because if you have a huge goal, like say to sell $20 million a year, you need to work backwards and make sure you’re on track every 12 weeks. Otherwise you won’t be anywhere near where you need to be at the end of the year.
Kadee French: I have an actual old-school paper planner that I use. As far as goal setting, if I do it that way, it just stresses me out, so I’m more about just going with the flow. But I also focus on the things I do to drive my business. Ultimately, my goal is to do better than the year before. If I don’t have stuff on my horizon, that’s when I buckle down harder.
SK: Kadee, how many transactions do you do a year?
KF: Anywhere from 65 to 70.
SK: And Koki, what about you? Before you talk about goals, can you tell us a little bit about how your business is set up and how many transactions you do a year?
Koki Adasi: I’m a team leader, and I’ve had a team for the last 12 years. I have two buyer agents, my wife runs operations for our team, and then we have a transaction coordinator, so there’s five of us. Last year we did 96 transactions. Our average sales price is just over $900,000. When I was first in real estate, my average sales price was like $275,000. I’m in the same market 17 years later, so clients have grown with us over the years. As far as business planning, we try to do it every year around October, and it’s really based on our personal goals.
SK: Have you had a market shift in the last nine months? What do you see going on, and what are you doing?
KA: We saw a shift in our market around September with the increase in mortgage rates. Inventory was still relatively low, but people were having to adjust to a higher interest rate. It took time for people to realize that inventory was not increasing significantly. We had about a three-month period where buyers could negotiate. They could do an inspection after they were under contract, which was foreign for us for a couple of years during Covid. And now, we are back to a heightened market, multiple-offer situation. Buyers had a small window to get back to a more normal market, and now we’re in a seller’s market again.
SK: What about you, Sarah?
SM: We did see a bit of a shift about four or five months ago, but not to the point where anything drastically changed. It’s still a pretty strong seller’s market. Homes are still selling in under 30 days, and we’re still getting multiple offers. We’re getting a few more options where sellers might be able to get a contingent on sale offer accepted, or buyers might be able to get some concessions they weren’t able to before and weren’t having to waive inspection and all that crazy stuff.
SK: What is your average sales price?
SM: My average is about $400,000, and I do about 50 transactions a year.
SK: What about you, Kadee? What are you seeing in Oklahoma?
KF: I don’t really want to say it’s slow because it’s not slow, but we’re not necessarily getting into those multiple offer fights, or if we are, it’s only maybe two to three people. Overall, it’s definitely getting more balanced. Inventory is still extremely low, and it also really just depends on the property. Instead of selling a house in one or two days, it might be a week or two, which is nice because there is a little bit more negotiation for buyers. I just got a buyer under contract and was able to negotiate $11,000 under the list price. It had been on the market for two months, which is still not a crazy amount of time, but I was like, this is fun. I got to negotiate again, and I got a contingency accepted as well. It took me a second to remember that form, too, because I hadn’t written one of those in a very long time. I think it’s good because there are opportunities for people who stopped looking for the last year and a half.
SK: What are you doing in 2023? Something new? Something, whether it’s marketing, maybe it’s a new life-balance goal. Sarah?
SM: I hired a full-time licensed agent in July of last year, and I just had a baby three weeks ago (at press time). So for me, relying on somebody else has been very difficult. I was a full-time agent up until July of last year, so the thing that I’m trying new this year is actually letting go and letting somebody else step in for me. It was very nerve-wracking at first, but it’s been amazing. I’ve switched my listing consultations to virtual, and have had five in the last two weeks. I’d never done them virtually before. I sent my admin out first to go take photos and meet with the seller and get details, which helped set the tone to show that we’re professional and we’re connected and in person. I’m allowing somebody else to represent me and my clients this year.
SK: What about you, Koki? Anything new for 2023 that you’re implementing?
KA: You know when you feel like you’re working all day and feel productive, but also not really? And you just want to stop with the emails and calls and just enjoy your life? I’m now tracking everything I do from a lead-generation standpoint. And once I’ve hit my daily goal, I’m essentially done working. One thing that’s really important to me is having the ability to coach my kids in their sports. I coached high school basketball several years ago, got busy with real estate and didn’t have time to coach anymore. With this new tracking system, I have time to coach, so that’s one new thing for me.
SK: What about you, Kadee? What are you implementing this year?
KF: I’ve been waking up a lot earlier, so that has given me more time throughout the day for my business and personal life. I’m less stressed about getting things done, which also goes back to another thing that I’ve been doing. I’m a big sticky note girl. I’m trying to make sure I cross everything off my list, whether that’s sending a marketing video or posting something on Instagram.